Hakkasan Mayfair review: Descend into a dark world of Cantonese cuisine

Dim sum at Hakkasan
Hakkasan Mayfair (Image: Provided)

As we arrive at Hakkasan we mistakenly walk right past it as the entrance is so nondescript. There’s just their simple double ‘k’ butterfly-like logo. Google Maps helps us find the door and enter what looks and smells like a very high-end spa. The dark stone walls as well as wafts of jasmine incense entice us in.

This Chinese chain serving authentic Cantonese recipes with a modern flair has proven popular. We are at the Hakkasan Mayfair, but there is another branch on London’s Hanway Place. There’s also an additional 12 venues across America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

Descending into Hakkasan Mayfair
Descending into Hakkasan Mayfair (Image: Provided)

After giving my name to the receptionist, we descend a set of steps to the restaurant. The dark wood lacquered latticed walls and minimal lighting instantly make us feel like we’re sitting down for dinner not lunch. So, why not start with a cocktail?

A sweet Pink Mojito and Smokey Negroni set us up for our meal. This is especially so for the latter which was served theatrically from a large glass carafe topped with a cloud of smoke.

Smokey Negroni being poured
The Smokey Negroni being poured (Image: Markus Bidaux)

Itching to test our chopstick handling skills, we order a selection of sharing starters which arrive in quick succession. The Golden Fired Soft-Shell Crab with “egg floss”, light strands of fried egg, has a hint of heat from the chilli and is delicious.

We devour Spicy Prawns with slivers of almonds and in a bamboo steaming basket the Supreme Dim Sum arrives which features royal king crab and lobster dumplings, XO scallop and prawn shui mai, and Wagyu beef with black garlic.

The Roasted Silver Cod in a sweet Champagne and honey sauce (Image: Provided)
The Roasted Silver Cod in a sweet Champagne and honey sauce (Image: Provided)

For our sharing mains, we tried their two signature fish dishes. The Roasted Silver Cod came dripping in a sweet Champagne and honey sauce paired nicely with the more savoury Grilled Chilean Sea Bass with broccoli.

To finish we shared the Jivara Bomb, a hazelnut praline and milk chocolate ice cream dessert. It was like a big frosty Ferrero Rocher. We could barely finish the chocolate bomb we were so full from all the delicious dishes we had.

Hakkasan Hanway Place
Hakkasan Hanway Place (Image: Provided)

With the dark surrounding and the lively beats coming out of the speakers, we completely forgot what time it was. As we ascend and open the door to mid-afternoon sun it took us a minute to adjust to daylight.

For those looking to enjoy a little daytime fun, the Hakkasan Hanway Place, near Tottenham Court Road Station has launched a Spring Lost in Shanghai brunch. The £128 menu includes an arrivals signature martini cocktail as well as three courses to be enjoyed with a bottle of Rock Angel, Château d’Esclans Rosé per person. The brunch is also only available on three upcoming Saturdays – 30 March, 27 April and 25 May.

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